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317,000 now out of work
Unemployment has risen at its slowest quarterly rate since May 2011 according to official figures released today.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that unemployment for the three months to January 2012 rose by 0.1%. The total number of unemployed people increased by 28,000 over the quarter to reach 2.67 million. The number of unemployed people aged from 16 to 24 increased by 16,000 over the quarter to reach 1.04 million.
Carmen Watson, Managing Director of Pertemps Network Group, said, "We have seen a number of initiatives introduced over recent months to try to tackle the unemployment problem and although we are yet to see the full results of their success, it is certainly an encouraging sign that the rate of unemployment is starting to slow.
"For the North West jobs market to fully turn a corner it doesn't just need the participation of companies in government backed schemes, it also needs the confidence of employers from the various business sectors. We are frequently speaking to companies who are seeking to strengthen their workforce and increase productivity by taking on new staff on a temporary or permanent basis. This attitude has to reverberate throughout UK industry but it has to be based on confidence in future prospects. Recovery in the economy is within reach but its perceived proximity will be the deciding factor for many employers with regards to recruitment strategy.”